Today God answered a prayer I prayed recently. I prayed he would keep me humble. I don’t know why I keep praying that prayer. He always answers and it is always painful – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. This time it involved something I have done for a while and did recently that hurt a dear friend of mine. I don’t like admitting it or facing the parts of myself that have yet to be pruned away completely. At the same time, I realize that although God wants us to “forget” ourselves so that He can shine through us, he doesn’t want us to go so low as to feel sorry for ourselves or dwell on the awfulness of a flaw or mistake.
My friend graciously forgave me as we talked this afternoon. I’ve been thinking about it since and remembered that verse in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” As we walk our path alongside our friends we sometimes clash, sometimes accidentally bang into one another, sometimes get scraped. If we’re following Jesus, He can use these “incidents” to sharpen each of us, to mold us, to perfect us. This type of shaping is bound to hurt – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot – but the end result can be good.
God’s been speaking to me a lot lately about forgetting myself, about letting Him always be in the lead and in control, about trusting him and others around me. It’s not about me (where have I heard that before?). Today I was reminded that things don’t have to be perfect or just so to glorify God. Don’t I think that God can work in and through all that we do, perfectly done or not? Who’s to say my way is the perfect right way anyway? That alone speaks of a pride issue in my heart – or that I think pretty highly of my opinion.
This past week in church we heard a message about the poor in spirit inheriting all that God has to offer, now and forever. Poor in spirit – realizing I have nothing without God, that without God and his mercy I would be utterly lost and completely without hope. It was evidently time for a reminder for me! I’m thankful for a gracious friend who doesn’t begrudge me the scrapes I unintentionally gave her this week.
Maybe God will even use our rough patch of path to hone her as well, making her even more beautiful and effective for His use. I sure hope He does that in me.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Prov. 27:17 NLT